Do protein shakes help muscle gain without training? This article explores the truth behind these claims and answers what happens if you drink protein shakes without working out.
Potential Risks of Consuming Protein Shakes Without Exercise
Here are some potential drawbacks to consuming protein shakes without working out.
Consuming protein shakes without exercise can result in weight gain. Excess protein is converted into fat in the body if it’s not utilized for muscle growth and repair.
Relying solely on shakes for protein sometimes causes nutrient deficiencies, leading to health problems and reduced athletic performance.
Consuming high amounts of protein without exercise can strain the kidneys, as they filter excess protein from the body. Over time, this can lead to kidney damage and other health problems.
You may not get enough physical activity to properly digest and utilize the protein you consume, which could lead to digestive problems.
Sodium levels of protein shakes are sometimes high, which causes dehydration if consumed without moderation. It is essential to drink plenty of water when drinking protein shakes.
Potential Benefits of Consuming Protein Shakes Even Without Exercise
Lower Calorie Intake
Protein shakes keep you full for more extended periods, which can help you feel full and reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks.
Helps Bodily Functions
Protein shakes contain essential amino acids that your body needs to function correctly. They help support your immune system, hormonal balance, and energy levels throughout the day.
Easy to prepare meal substitute
Protein shakes are a nutritious and convenient way to add protein and more nutrition to your diet. They are great if you’re busy and need more time to prepare full meals.
Does Protein Build Muscle Without Working Out?
The short answer is no. While protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, it cannot build muscle alone. To put on muscle mass, you must engage in resistance training that stresses your muscles and forces them to adapt and grow stronger.
Protein aids in muscle recovery and growth when consumed in adequate amounts alongside a proper exercise routine. While protein is an important puzzle piece, it’s not the only one.
How to Maximize the Benefits of Drinking Protein Shakes Without Working Out
Consider consuming protein shakes between meals instead of using them as a meal replacement. It means less calorie intake while maximizing protein absorption.
Choose high-quality protein powders with a complete amino acid profile. Look for powders that contain whey, casein, or egg protein for the best results.
Focus on protein timing. Research shows that distributing your protein intake evenly throughout the day helps maximize the benefits of protein shakes.
Remember your overall diet. While protein shakes are a helpful addition to your diet, they can’t replace a balanced, nutrient-rich meal plan.
What is the ideal amount of protein in a protein shake?
You should consume 20-25 grams of high-quality protein per meal to help build muscle.
When should you have your protein shake in relation to your workouts?
It is recommended that individuals consume between 20-40 grams of protein within a half-hour of completing a workout.
What amount of protein shakes should you consume if you don’t exercise regularly?
According to Mayo Clinic, inactive people should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Protein shakes are beneficial when combined with a balanced diet and exercise, but it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement regimen. Remember to consume protein shakes in moderation like everything else. Even without exercise, protein shakes offer some benefits if included in an overall diet and lifestyle.
Anna is a 33-year-old registered dietitian based in Orlando. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, Anna enjoys staying active through Crossfit and indulging her sweet tooth by baking. She is dedicated to helping her clients achieve their health and wellness goals through evidence-based nutrition advice and has spent the past 4 years writing for online publications on nutrition and fitness.